Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Reactions to Cal Lutheran Students

Shrimp again.

"Students will now vote on constitution change," headlines the Echo, the student newspaper at California Lutheran University. On Monday the CLU judicial review panel made its review of the proposed constitutional amendment and also declined to remove two members of the student Senate from office. Read the entire article for some of the public on-campus discussion.

Meanwhile, the Echo's Opinion section includes two pieces by a student columnist, "CLU sacrifices Christianity roots to promote diversity," published Monday, Feb. 28 (when the Senate voted to send the proposal to CLU's undergrads), and "ASCLUG approves constitution change, but should it have?" on Monday, March 7 (the day of the judicial review). The Echo also posted on Monday guest columns entitled "Preamble to reflect current identity," by the amendment's initial sponsor, Senator Evan Sandlin of the Junior Class, and "Christian ideals should be present in preamble," by senior Jesse Knutson.

And then over at the Ventura County Star, Monday's Letters to the Editor includes one from CLU's President, Dr. Chris Kimball:
Let me set the record straight. The only ones involved in this discussion are students. If enacted, the change would only affect the student government constitution. Not the university's constitution. Not the university's mission statement. Not the university's identity statement.

In fact, the proposed change would actually align the student constitution more closely with CLU's identity statement. In it, we say that, "Rooted in the Lutheran tradition of Christian faith, the university encourages critical inquiry into matters of both faith and reason."

This is what CLU is all about. Our Lutheran identity defines who we are as an academic and social community. "Lutheran" is our middle name and it will remain our middle name.
Read Dr. Kimball's "What Cal Lutheran is all about" here.

In Tuesday's Star one can find four letters to the editor: from Ray Holm of Thousand Oaks ("Values endangered"); CLU employee Juanita Hall of Moorpark ("Lutheran tradition"); CLU's Director of Church Relations, Pastor Arne Bergland ("CLU faith-based"):
...For those who might question CLU's commitment to be a faith-based institution, I invite you to attend our Wednesday 10:10 a.m. chapel services or any of the other services provided by our campus ministry as well as any number of our student organizations with a faith-based focus....
and ELCA Southwest California Synod Bishop Dean Nelson, who is also a member of CLU's Board of Regents ("CLU and faith"):
In 2007, voting members of the Churchwide Assembly of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) approved a new social statement entitled, "Our Calling in Education." This statement helps the ELCA address the many issues related to education at all age levels both public and church-related, including the issues that now are being raised as a result of recent student activities at California Lutheran University....
Read them in full here.

We're thinking that ELCA-related higher education is a rather different bird from what the founders of her colleges envisioned.

Shrimp out.

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